The opposition march called Azadi march led by the religious group Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) is expected to reach Lahore on Tuesday, October 29. Several camps have been set in the Thorkar, Samanabad, and Chauburji areas to welcome the protesters. A large turnout is largely expected and tradespeople who which have set up camps at Multan Chungi and Yateenm Khana for an ongoing two-days strike, are expected to join the march.
The march, for which a Non Objection Certificate (NOC) have been issued by the local government, is scheduled to later reach Islamabad from Rawalpindi on Thursday, October 31. Protesters are expected to enter the city from Rawat using the Expressway, I.J.P. Road, 9th Avenue, and Kashmir highway before gathering in the H-9 area. Entry in Islamabad's red zone, which hosts many diplomatic enclaves, have been restricted.
On Friday, October 25, police authorities announced that around 3000 security personnel and 5000 reserve forces will be deployed in Islamabad during the march.
A heightened security presence and associated traffic and business disruptions are expected along the march route and near all protests. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
The march is being held with the support of opposition parties such as the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N). In late September 2019, the PPP and JUI-F agreed to hold parallel rallies across Pakistan, calling for the ousting of the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government.
Individuals in Lahore and Islamabad are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public gatherings as a precaution, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, and anticipate transportation and business disruptions near protest sites and a heightened security presence.
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